Bike Ride to Hells Canyon Overlook

Sunday, August 3

There’s a lot involved in selecting a site for an Obsidian Summer Camp. When the advance crew was checking out the Coverdale CG last year, they were so busy with important things such as water availability, etc., that they didn’t remember that the road is paved all the way to the campground—a bikie’s delight! The few who took bikes to camp were pleasantly surprised.

Shortly after breakfast on Sunday, Mike BeBout (leader) and Sylvia Harvey (who were preparing for a week long bike tour after camp) and I got on our bikes and headed down the road from camp. The sky was overcast and the air was cool but not cold, perfect weather for biking. We covered the four miles (booklet & road signs say five—but the odometers shows otherwise) to Ollokot CG quickly as it’s about 300 feet lower than Coverdale. There we took a short break and refilled our water bottles.

The other seven miles to the Overlook went a bit slower as we had to climb about 1600 feet, but the temperature remained cool and, unlike the stretch of FS 39 towards Joseph, these roads have nice, wide shoulders. We had a few, minor sprinkles along the way, but quickly dried off. Alas, the overcast skies which made for great biking conditions also made for a less than spectacular view at the Overlook. But we had a great time, eating an early lunch (we had arrived at the Overlook around 11 a.m.), and chatting with fellow Obsidians who had driven there from camp.

The trip back was fast and fun—especially the stretch back to Ollokot CG—and we were back to camp by early afternoon. So, after a short reset, we rode the ten miles R/T to Indian Crossing and back. Altogether we rode 30 miles, with around 2600 feet of climbing.

— Wayne Deeter

Looking out towards the Snake

Valley to the north of the Overlook

— photos by Wayne Deeter

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